Horse Breeding Hall of Famers

As we look forward to celebrating 10 new inductees to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame, let’s look back at some of the 2012 inductees.

At the 2013 AQHA Convention in Houston in March, 10 new inductees will join the prestigious American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. The new inductees include Bill Brewer, Kenny Hart, Frank Merrill, the late Guy Ray Rutland and Greg Whalen, and horses Fillinic, Freckles Playboy, Lady Bug’s Moon, Miss Olene and Poco Tivio.

In April, America’s Horse Daily will feature biographies about the new members of the Hall of Fame. Until then, enjoy reading about a few people and horses honored in 2012 by induction in to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. Get more information about AQHA Convention, including the registration form.

Hollywood Dun It

Dun It did it. Hollywood Dun It – popularly known as “Dun It” – has reached the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

It’s well-deserved recognition for the stallion who became a reining icon and a sire of champions.

Bred by Gwen L. Steif of Kildeer, Illinois, the dun son of Hollywood Jac 86 was foaled in 1983 out of the Dun Berry reining mare Blossom Berry.

Hollywood Dun It first attracted widespread notice at the 1986 National Reining Horse Association Futurity, when trainer and future owner Tim McQuay rode the 3-year-old colt to a reserve championship behind Sophie Oak. Next came a win in the 1987 NRHA Derby and Superstakes. In his career, Hollywood Dun It earned $65,808 in NRHA competition and in 2000 was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame.

“Hollywood Dun It had that little special spark,” Tim told NRHA’s Reiner magazine. “He had such eye appeal, and he tried to please you constantly. I think he could play today. With the different training methods we have, I know he’d be even better.”

Hollywood Dun It retired to the breeding barn in 1989. In 1992, when his first foals were eligible to compete, Melodys Dun It finished third in the NRHA Futurity. That first crop of 3-year-olds included Hollywoods Heir, Jiffy Pop, HP Cody Dun It, Hollywoods New Star, Great Dun It Jack, A Real Glo Getter and Mr McDunit – all NRHA or All American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity champions. As a sire, Dun It was getting it done.

Hollywood Dun It’s first two foal crops earned more than $200,000, and future crops helped him reach the NRHA $1 million mark at age 16, the youngest sire in that club at the time. Dun It eventually became NRHA’s first $4 million sire, and he reached the $5 and $6 million marks after his death.

Through 2011, Hollywood Dun It had sired 1,209 American Quarter Horses, including progeny that have won the NRHA Futurity, the NRHA Derby and Superstakes, the National Reining Breeders Classic, the All American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity and numerous other futurities and derbies. In AQHA competition, his foals have won eight world championships, eight reserve world championships and more than 11,000 points. His foals also have points with the Palomino Horse Breeders of America and the International Buckskin Horse Association.

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Hollywood Dun It also became a great sire of broodmares, with his daughters producing 315 Quarter Horses that so far have garnered 3,447 performance points in AQHA open competition, with two world champions and one reserve world champion; 148 horses that have scored 1,818 points in amateur performance classes, with one reserve world champion and two high-point winners; and 43 that have taken 300 points in youth performance. The stallion also is the broodmare sire of one amateur and eight open halter point earners.

Hollywood Dun It’s daughters have also produced the earners of more than $4.79 million in NRHA and more than $139,000 in the National Reined Cow Horse Association. The stallion is the broodmare sire of point- and money earners in numerous other associations, including the National Cutting Horse Association, National Snaffle Bit Association, Palomino Horse Breeders of America, International Buckskin Horse Association and American Buckskin Registry Association.

Tim and Colleen McQuay’s McQuay Stables acquired Hollywood Dun It in 1987. In 1998, the McQuays transferred ownership to friend and business associate Jennifer Easton, creating McQuay/Easton LLC. That same year, Hollywood Dun It was selected as the model for the first Breyer Animal Creations reining horse.

Always a horse who enjoyed attention and loved people, Hollywood Dun It lived the balance of his years at McQuay Stables, putting tiny Tioga, Texas, on the map, as busloads of people regularly stopped to see and get their photo taken with the lovable icon.

Hollywood Dun It’s legacy continues through his talented offspring, with their distinct Dun It demeanor and astounding athletic ability.

The stallion was euthanized in March 2005.

Bob Loomis

Bob Loomis, quite simply, is a reining icon, a universally recognized master in the world of precision riding.

The 1982 president of the National Reining Horse Association, Bob has won six NRHA Open Futurity championships, more than any other trainer. In addition, he has won the NRHA Derby and Superstakes and trained and showed numerous AQHA and NRHA world champions. He also has written the book “Reining: The Art of Performance in Horses” and was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame in 1992.

Bob began training reining horses professionally in 1966. He earned his first public notice as a reining trainer in 1972 when he was co-reserve champion at the NRHA Futurity on Britton Princess.

In 1976, C.T. Fuller sent High Proof to Bob for training. They won the NRHA open class at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, then the senior reining at the AQHA World Championship Show. High Proof’s elegant style changed the way reining horses were bred and trained. High Proof was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame in 1991.

“I saw my first reining class in American Quarter Horse Association shows in the early 1960s,” Bob told the NRHA’s Reiner magazine. “From 1963 to 1966, I rode in AQHA reining classes, and Okies Bamboo was my first reining horse. She had so much talent, and I think she could still be competitive today. She was my first inspiration to want to rein.”

Bob began his breeding program in 1974 and four years later bought Topsail Cody to cross on his Boss’ Nowata Star mares. He trained and showed the stallion to win the NRHA Futurity in 1980 and be the AQHA world champion in junior reining the following year. Topsail Cody was inducted in to the NRHA Hall of Fame in 1996.

NRHA’s all-time leading sire, Topsail Cody also began the drive that made Bob the only breeder to have trained, shown and stood three generations of NRHA $1 million sires. The stallion was Bob’s first $1 million sire; Topsail Cody’s NRHA Hall of Fame son Topsail Whiz became Bob’s second; and then Topsail Whiz’s son West Coast Whiz (an NRHA Derby reserve champion) made it three in a row.

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Another very special horse in Bob’s career was Sophie Oak, on whom he won the NRHA Futurity in 1986, besting Hollywood Dun It and Tim McQuay.

Originally from Nebraska, Bob and wife Pam live on their Loomis Ranch at Marietta, Oklahoma, where they raise horses and Texas Longhorn cattle. An expert horsewoman, Pam also is a real estate agent specializing in ranch and farmland. The couple has two daughters from Bob’s first marriage: Bobbie and husband Coby, and Kelli and husband James of Ardmore. They have grandchildren Aaron, Jacob, Gatlin, Coby Jo and Garrett.

Their family and their horses are the loves of their lives.

“There are people who love horses, and there are people who love what horses can do for them,” Bob said. “I love horses.”

Walter Fletcher

Walter Fletcher has always been a busy person. The AQHA past president rodeoed through high school, college and after graduation, and he was a pretty good tie-down roper. However, in 1975, he decided to go another direction and traded a couple of rope horses for a Top Moon mare owned by a couple of neighboring ranchers, Walter’s cousin, Brad Tate (who also would become an AQHA president), and Gordon Crone (for whom the Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award is named).

Only a maiden on the racetrack, the mare, Sweet Mooner, produced six starters that together earned a third of a million dollars. Each became a winner – two of those in stakes – and Sweet Mooner became the foundation of a Fletcher breeding program that since 1977 has produced champions Sweet N Special ($209,103, out of Sweet Mooner’s daughter Sweet Katrina) and Sterling Sport ($266,223), nine more stakes winners, 54 other winners and the earners of more than $2.8 million. And that’s from only 104 starters.

Walter has an eye for horses, and he also has made some astute purchases. He bought Heza Ramblin Man as a yearling and then raced the Takin On The Cash gelding to 16 wins, including nine in stakes, and earnings of $750,907. He later acquired the gelding’s dam, the Kiptys Charger mare Kiptys Kisses. With her, he partnered with Vessels Stallion Farm to breed champion Ima Ramblin Girl ($162,515) and the graded stakes-winning gelding First To Ramble ($348,647), both by First Down Dash.

But he has not turned his back on the show industry. Walter bred and raced the graded stakes-placed Corona Cartel gelding Cartel Caliente, who earned $50,077 on the track. In 2009, Cartel Caliente qualified for the AQHA World Championship Show in senior barrel racing and

performance halter, and in 2010 qualified in both senior heading and performance and also became the 48th AQHA Supreme Champion.

Like many AQHA members, Walter is a successful rancher and farmer. He also is a son of a rancher and horseman. Walter was raised in the small southwestern Kansas town of Lakin. One of his great-grandfathers was a founder of the town, coming in with the railroad about 1872. Another great-grandfather showed up a short time later and started a general store. The family has been there ever since.

The Fletcher family has always had horses, which led to him meeting the girl who would become his wife while he was a member of the rodeo team at Colorado State University. Married for many years, Walter and Pat raised three children: Eric, who works with Walter in the farming and ranching operation; Ben, who is a chef in Breckenridge, Colorado; and Katie, who lives with her husband, professional photographer Chris Humphrey, in Owasso, Oklahoma, and has children Jack and Patrick.

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Walter has been farming and ranching since 1965, when he graduated from college and came home to help his father in the business, while also serving in the National Guard. Almost from the time he joined his dad, they started expanding the business. His dad died in 1975, but Walter continued the operation, and today he and his family farm the ground under center pivot irrigation systems and run cattle on ranch land south of Lakin. Walter also served two terms on the local school board.

Walter was elected to the AQHA Executive Committee in 2002 and became president in 2007. He was elected to the AQHA Board of Directors in 1993, the year after he began his nine-year tenure as a member of the Racing Committee, on which he served as chairman for two consecutive terms. He was a member of the Racing Council for 10 years and was also chairman of that group for two consecutive years. In addition, he has served on the Hall of Fame selection committee, the Professional Horsemen’s Council and the Affiliate Council.

“It’s a great honor to go into the Hall of Fame with the people who are in there,” he said. “It’s an elite group.”

And Walter is still a busy man.